Archives for category: News

Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to pay the website hosting for the Binikou wiki, and it’s being taken offline. I’m very sorry for this, but there were no contributions other than my own, so I’m guessing that not a lot of folks will even notice it missing. :-) Maybe someday the Binikou Encyclopedia of Solutions will find a new life, fulfilling the original mission of offering a way for humans of all ages to research, test, and share great ideas for using abundant resources to meet people’s needs more effectively and enjoyably. But for now, it’s again just a dream.

Thanks to anyone who’s been curious enough to at least check out the idea.

With Gratitude,
Turil Cronburg

Note: if you want to see what I’m up to, check out my main blog at or the minimalist website at


Saturday Morning Superfoods at the Palermo Community Library

Free Super Healthy Snacks!
Free seeds and plants!
Free exchange of ideas on how to identify, grow, and prepare super healthy local foods.
Free for all ages!

Free food, free plants, and plenty of fun and knowledge for the whole family!
11 am – 12 noon every Saturday morning at the Palermo Community Library, starting August 20th

The Palermo Community Library, in collaboration with Binikou ~ the Human Powered School, has received a generous grant from Healthy Waldo County to run a weekly program supporting healthy lifestyles that include eating and growing a wide variety of super nutritious local foods. Saturday Morning Superfoods events start on August 20th, from 11 am to noon. These events will be fun, all ages explorations of the highest quality foods you can grow yourself right here in Maine. Attendees of the events will get to taste local foods prepared with healthy, fun, and delicious recipes. There will also be information on wild foods, and planting and preparation techniques for growing your own superfoods. And attendees will receive free seeds or plants to cultivate at home, and will get an opportunity to contribute information and artwork to Binikou’s Enclopedia of Solutions for improving the quality of life for humans all over the world.

If you’re wondering what a “superfood” is, it is a food that is especially dense with nutrients, or has a high level of some hard to get nutrient. So eating even a little bit of a superfood makes your body superpowered!

Each Saturday Morning Superfood event at the library will feature different local foods, such as sunchokes, kale, wood sorrel, clover sprouts, Maine blueberries, and the surprisingly powerful and tasty purslane. There will be a variety of sweet and savory things to eat each week, so come on by on Saturday morning and bring some friends and family, too. For more information check out the library’s new blog at or visit the “Palermo Community Library” page on Facebook. And look for the Library’s human powered garden float after the Palermo Days parade.

Also, for locals who want to show off their own locally grown superfood plants, especially hardy perennials, in the program, please get in touch with Turil at TheWiseTurtle at or call and leave a message at the library at 993-6088. The library is looking for both fresh picked foods and whole plants and seeds for others to cultivate in their own superfood gardens.

Seeds are magic, even in real life!

Binikou got the grant! Whoohooo! It’s from Healthy Waldo County, and we will be using it to run three months of Saturday Morning Superfoods and Food Forest events at the Palermo Community Library. Each week we will explore one local food that is exceptionally nutritious and easily grown in the local area as part of a permanent, low maintenance garden. We’ll be planting, harvesting, preparing, and eating the superfoods while collaborating on a Binikou solution page for the encyclopedia that will be shared with all the world. And in the process, the Library, and workshop attendees, will receive plants for their own permaculture garden. At the end of the summer, the library will have at least 14 different edible species in the new Food Forest garden!

Did I mention, Yay! Congratulations to us!

The program will start mid to late June. Some of the first foods we’ll feature might include sunchokes, sprouts, kale, and stinging nettle. We welcome you all to participate either at the library, or online at the Encyclopedia of Solutions, with your ideas, art, questions, and knowledge…

more than a green thumb, a whole green body!

Binikou has a dream of starting a program at the Palermo Community Library (in Maine, not Italy) that would have a workshop every Saturday morning exploring one of the top most nutritious plants that grow sustainably and permanently in Maine. The goal would be to give away superfood plants that either are perennials or readily self-sow for people to cultivate in their own permaculture-style food forests. We’d also use the workshops to build up the library’s own garden space with long term food plants that need very little maintenance to thrive (as opposed to the more mainstream style annual vegetable gardens that need lots of maintenance and replanting every year).

The workshop leaders and participants, of all ages, would collaboratively create at least one Binikou solution page for the Encyclopedia of Solutions wiki for each plant. We’d explore everything from the history of the plant, to how to nurture it, to what nutrients are in it, to how to prepare it so that it is most nutritious and delicious.

We just applied for a small grant to fund this for the summer (the money would go to buying food plants/seeds and library media in support of growing superfoods, wild food identification, and permaculture). We will find out if we’ve gotten the grant by the end of the month. Cross your fingers! If we don’t get it, there will still probably be some more Superfood/Food Forest workshops at some point, since education about sustainable food practices and free food plants are such good ideas!

edible roof?

Recently published science research shows that voluntary “choice based” learning, like you get in a free museum, or with Binikou, gives people more knowledge than a mainstream school!

This is because people learn more when they are interested in something and have a good reason to learn about it, rather than feeling forced or threatened into learning. With the freedom to choose a topic, from a broad range of valuable options, they are far more likely to find something that they feel is well worth investing their mental time and energy in.

Binikou might not be very full of options yet (maybe you can help add to the interesting, valuable, and fun educational stuff we offer the world), but what we do have already is a good start, don’t you think?

Food! Food!

Air! Air!

Warmth! Warmth!

Energy! Energy!

Do any of these exhibits appeal to your curiosity? If so, click on one of them to enter into our welcoming space full of ideas!


If you hadn’t already noticed, Binikou’s Encyclopedia of Solutions has it’s first few entries now!

Please check them out, add any informative and/or creative stuff to the solutions, and consider creating more solution entries to teach others about solutions to improving your quality of life that you already know and love.

In the Food category, we have: Sprouting Seeds and Nuts

And: Vitamin C from a pine tree

In the Warmth category, we have: Triangle Shelter for making geodesic dome type buildings

And in the Air category, we started off with a supercharged yogic breathing technique: the 4-7-8 breath

What do you think? Are we off to a good start? What do you want to see? What do you want to add? Check out the Solution Wish List where wishes for a better life can be granted! You now have the opportunity to grant others their wishes, and they can grant you yours…


mung beans ready to sprout into a super food!

The sun is always there for us when we need it the most.

On the darkest day a child is born, a new kind of child, one who will
be nurtured by those who love her, so that she can become strong,
beautiful, and inspiring for all of you for the rest of your precious
time here on planet Earth.

With much love and appreciation, I give you the newborn…

Binikou ~ the Human Powered School

Good Stuff In – Good Stuff Out

She is still very tiny and fragile, but she is ready to face the
challenges of the world, ready to take her first steps out into the
snow, or rain, or sun, with all of us there to hug her when she falls,
and to watch her when she walks bravely into the future.

Please share
the news of her birth with anyone you feel will also find joy in her
new life…


Happy Solstice to all of you, my family, friends, and fellow creative souls!

Peace, Love, and Bicycles,

Salutations to the flying fire within us all!

The money from Global Giving arrived!

The website is seriously under construction!

Binikou (including Turil) is looking for a home!

There will be handmade Binikou gift books available soon! Hopefully before Solstice (and Christmas). Books will be free to anyone who makes a donation to Binikou (monetary and otherwise), and anyone else who really wants one, too (for as long as supplies/postage money hold out).

Things are definitely very exciting these days for Binikou…

It's a Binikou planet!

Last week was an eventful and amazing adventure in Washington DC as a somewhat amused guest of the World Bank. (Specifically the educational wing, known as the World Bank Institute.)

The trip far exceeded my expectations in many ways. The Evoke Summit was designed to be a celebration of and further inspiration for the “Crash course in changing the world” that the Evoke project started out as. And Binikou was indeed grateful to be a part of this opportunity.

The presentations and workshops were fairly typical, for those familiar with social and environmental non-profit conferences, and were somewhat useful in offering new ideas and approaches, and for getting to know our fellow summit-goers. The real awesomeness that comes from these kinds of events is, of course, getting to network with all kinds of different people who, in spite of their differences, all share a similar ideal of doing something creative to help make the world a better place. And this Evoke Summit was no exception!

So while you can read about the presentations and such that happened over here and also here), if you like, there is probably no good way to summarize the really important stuff that happened for Binikou in DC, other than for me to say…

It truly was…

Good stuff in… Good stuff out!

…and then to spend a moment thanking all the people who invested their time and energy in the Evoke Summit, and Evoke itself, including Nathan V., Gene, Mita, Amos, Nathan W., David, Simon, Pradip, Jane and Kiyash, Martin and Reid and Cheryl, Steve (my frequent and very enjoyable table neighbor!), Rebecca (you’re just so awesome!), Ari, Lorena, Reem, the very surprising (to me!) Nathaniel F., (Just ask) Ed, Ronald, Michelle, Brian and Caleb from Ushahidi, the very generous Bob from the WB, and all the other various locals and special guests who showed up.

Thank you all so much for helping inspire me to make Binikou a success!

And, because I can, here are some pretty pictures! (Mouse over the images for witty commentary.)

Lincoln is kind of inspiring.

Evokers and Space travel are even more inspiring!

Evokers at a big, big, big WB table is a little intimidating!

Evokers collaborating in the real world, is the most inspiring of all!

Evokers engage the world face to face, with compassion, and curiosity.

Smithsonian Native American Art - also inspiring, in a quieter way.

It's a bike, parked at paper clips!  We need more of these, don't you agree?

Look what I found in the basement of the Smithsonian gift shop!

Onward and upward for all of us Evokers, and for Binikou!


This afternoon I’m going to the EVOKE Summit in DC, as a guest of the World Bank, for a three day intensive on changing the world. Should be interesting.

There will also be plenty of time spent at the Smithsonian, of course…